Breaking the Asshat Barrier

In the middle of the chaos the other day, I got to deal with McSnit and Weanus, the former by telephone, the latter in the flesh. Weanus was having his usual tantrum about something or other, which I ignored, and he went away after writing a few orders. Thanks, bye, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

McSnit — well, we required his unique and special services as a surgeon in his particular subspecialty. It was a complicated case, the emerg doc had already talked to him about it; we needed some immediate direction, and also some pretty urgent intervention on his part. So I called Locating, who directly connected me to his Blackberry.

The connection was bad.

Can you hold for the emerg doc? I asked. It’s about Patient VW, he needs this, that and the other.

“I’m a busy man,” he says.

Click. The call was dropped.

So I thought: he knows the number — God knows he’s called me enough times with some spurious complaint —  and he knows the score: he’ll call back. I mean, a reasonable person would do the same, wouldn’t he?

Uh, no. We’re talking about McSnit.

I waited a couple of minutes, then when it was clear he wasn’t calling back, I paged him again.

His Blackberry was answered by a nurse.

Can I speak to Dr. McSnit?

“Oh,” said the nurse. “He can’t come to the phone. He’s scrubbed in and just started a procedure.”

In other words, instead of calling back about a complicated, critically ill patient he already knew about, who required his font of knowledge, skills and talent, or even waiting for the page, which he knew we would make, McSnit chose to begin a procedure. Immediately. I mean, he must have had the circulating nurse holding the phone to his ear in the scrub room.

Avoidance behaviour. Classic. And since McSnit is a reasonably intelligent person, he knew he was doing it, even as he walked into the procedure room. Which make it worse.

He’s just moved up my Dinkhood Scale, jumping five or six notches from Irritating Jerk to Asshat Deluxe. Well done, McSnit.


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  1. #1 by JennJilks on Friday 16 April 2010 - 1257

    I suppose, at the very least, you now know what to expect, and this information will help you prepare for another incident.

    Keep on truckin’!

  2. #2 by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday 17 April 2010 - 2333

    This is where you document verbatim what the ding-dong doc said and did.

  3. #3 by DreamingTree on Wednesday 21 April 2010 - 0904

    “Asshat Deluxe” — LOL – I love the title!

  4. #4 by Raquel on Saturday 16 October 2010 - 1957

    I had worked with ER doctors my entire career until recently. There were some mild asshats, however, most were reasonable. Often they enjoyed teaching, had a good sense of humor, and had at least some respect for the nurses. Now I work with surgeons. McSnit sounds like a typical specimen of the breed.

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